The following instructions are for new construction/new concrete, but can apply to existing floors. Please read carefully, if you are uncertain about any instructions, please discuss with Re-Crete.
With new construction, we generally come in right after the dry-in, before sheet rock, masonry and stucco. Scoring can be done before the walls are up if you wish to have the pattern run under the walls. Otherwise, borders can be cut to mirror the path of the walls of the house. If this is what you choose, the scoring can be done at the same time of the staining. We prefer to stain after the framers so there won’t be any wicking problems on permanent surfaces.
We need to have electricity and clean water to complete the process. When we arrive the floor needs to be clean enough to begin scoring. We then clean and prep the floor for staining, then stain. The final step is the sealing process. Most houses take 4-5 days depending on cleaning and drying time, sometimes less.
Floors need to be covered after staining and sealing to protect it during the final stages of construction. See builder’s instructions for recommendations.
Instructions for Floor
Basically, treat the bare concrete floor as if it were an unstained wood floor. Anything that could or would discolor, bleach or stain a wood floor could affect a concrete floor.
- Please use a five-sack mix (3500 psi) without any fly ash, retarders, accelerators or curing compounds. Do not use sprayed or dusted on surface curing compounds.
- IMPORTANT: Make sure your concrete subcontractor hand finishes around plumbing, risers, outlets or any other areas not accessible by machine. This will affect how the stain is taken later.
- Do not walk on the slab before the surface is completely dry. Footprints that you can’t see now may show when the stain goes on.
- Power trowel the surface to achieve a hard, slick, marble like finish. Some like to burn it. Make sure there are no burrs or trash to make swirls in the concrete.
- Concrete is a porous material and is susceptible to discoloration. DO NOT WRITE ON THE SLAB. Metal objects will rust (nails). Also, beverages, grease, food, adhesive, caulk, poly seal, paint, solder, oils, flux, wax pencils, pipe glue and permanent markers will scar the floor. Muratic Acid should never be used on the concrete, it will prevent the stain from reacting.
- Framers should use white or blue chalk only. Red and yellow chalks are permanent dyes. Do not over mark for framing. Do NOT use silicone or any other sprays to hold snap lines in place. Framers should brace walls to the outside and not to the slab.
- Floors MUST be protected. Do NOT use any tapes on the floor. Tape your protective paper pieces to each other or to the wall, never to the floor, NO Exceptions. You may use builders paper, cardboard or masonite to protect the floors. Never use plastic, it will retard the cure and make the stain react differently.
- Press board, and other forms of lumber, as well as items such as insulation and plastic will modify the moisture content of the concrete, creating a shift in color. Resins from the wood will also stain.
- DO NOT STORE ANYTHING ON THE FLOOR!
- Never tape to the floor
- Warn everyone that the floor will be stained. Do it verbally. Do it often. Signs don’t work.
- Finish work is a critical time. Paints can bond with the sealer on the concrete floor. It’s a nasty job to repair and expensive.